A developer’s plunge into the world of Test Analysis

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I am a developer at work and at heart who had not done much formal testing except to verify that the system I was developing worked [J] .I however moved into a new job which dictated as part of my contract that I had to go through a two month period working as a full time test analyst for the experience .

My reaction: What! No building stuff, no development well at least not at work for the next two months *groan groan* I am going to die before I complete my time I just know [my melodramatic side showing]

So I started my stint praying time would go fast and I wouldn’t realize it. l also acknowledge above my melodramatics that it was probably a good learning experience which will make me a better developer in the long run .

I started out running manual scripts for an online financial system painful yes, by the end of the second week I was fast losing my will to live.

So to keep from going crazy I turned to reading materials on what testing was all about and what made a great tester. There had to be more to testing! Right?

Yes! Right, My perception of testing as developer changed dramatically when I moved to 2 relatively small size projects [less that 10 people ] working as the sole test analyst on the first and as an adjunct test analyst on the second .

So what changed for me?

Being the only test analyst on a project means I had to learn quickly what was required of me , what mentality I was to adopt to be effective in my role and of course how to work smart as opposed to laboriously , what tools would make my work better or not .

Fundamentally I believe I begun to thoroughly enjoy being a test analyst when I bought into the mentality and attitude of a tester.

No it’s not being sadistic it’s the fact that I am the last line of defense for the customer it’s my job to make sure that the customer gets the best product possible [or die trying J]

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There will always be something wrong with the system and if it’s big enough to make the users experience or systems substandard then I will find it .oh yes I will ….

..And the love for breaking things especially software

Also automated testing appealed to the developer/programmer in me, I could write/program automated test s that could do a lot of the mundane repetitive tasks and User Acceptance Tests that needed to be done

What I learnt

I took away for my time as a test analyst:

Tact: saying to developer fix this! Fix this Now! Is hardly going to get you anywhere .When to push when to stop when to assert and to smile and let go.

A better eye for detail when I am developing :I have a sort of split personality now when I am working I look at the system through the eyes of a tester and a developer.[I still believe it not right for a developer to double as his/her own test analyst ]

…And a whole new respect for the testers I work with.